ICAO Model UAS Regulations




Member States asked ICAO to develop a regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that operate outside of the IFR International arena. ICAO reviewed the existing UAS regulations of many States to identify commonalities and best practices that would be consistent with the ICAO aviation framework and that could be implemented by a broad range of States. The outcomes of this activity are ICAO Model UAS Regulations titled Parts 101, 102 and 149.


The ICAO Model UAS Regulations and companion Advisory Circulars (ACs) offer a template for Member States to implement or to supplement their existing UAS regulations. These regulations and ACs are intended to be a living document and will evolve as the industry matures, providing States and regulators with internationally harmonized material based on the latest developments.


ICAO encourages States who have implemented UAS regulations to share their regulations with ICAO by providing a link or PDF file to RPAS@icao.int. The State's UAS Regulations will then be added to the repository of "Current State Regulations" located in the UAS Toolkit on ICAO's public website: https://www.icao.int/safety/UA/UASToolkit. As States enhance or expand their UAS regulations, they are urged to notify ICAO of these developments by providing a copy of their replacement UAS regulations.


Part 101 highlights:


  • All unmanned aircraft (UA) should be registered;
  • UA weighing 25 kg or less and operating in Standard UA Operating Conditions (101.7) require no additional operational review; however, if the UA weighs more than 15 kg, the UA must be inspected and approved under 101.21 or 102.301.


Part 102 highlights:


  • Addresses all UA operations using UA that weigh more than 25 kg or those weighing 25 kg or less but do not adhere to Part 101 requirements;
  • Enables on-going operations or one-time events through certification;
  • Enables a more expeditious review when manufacturers declare a type or model of UA as being sufficiently tested for a specific operational category or that has received an approval through an Approved Aviation Organization.


Part 149 highlights:


  • Promotes the use of an Approved Aviation Organization to serve as a designee authorized by the CAA to perform specific tasks. Once the organization has been certified, the authorized tasks  (remote pilot licensing, UA inspection, UA approval, etc.) may provide more expeditious processing and may reduce the workload for CAA Inspectors.


Note.─ This does not preclude the CAA from tailoring authorizations to its needs nor executing oversight directly.




The followings ACs have been provided for additional insight into the ICAO Model UAS Regulations:


AC 101-1: Provides guidance associated with rule 101 regarding unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in the Open Category.


AC 102-1: Provides guidance associated with rule 102 regarding the Specific Category, UAS authorizations or a UAS operator certificate (UOC). It also addresses requirements for manufacturers.


AC 102-37: Provides guidance for the carriage of dangerous goods transported by UA. This document is helpful to understand the risks and responsibilities for safe carriage and includes information for packing and marking.


Canada AC 922-001, RPAS Safety Assurance


This Advisory Circular (AC) provides information for consideration by States to assist them with UAS regulations under development in setting standards for the manufacturer's Declaration of Compliance (DOC). While this AC is specific to RPAS advanced operations in Canada, this material can be studied by States to assist in the development of their State's individual Safety Assurance standards for manufacturers.


AC 922-001 is an example of performance-based criteria. Transport Canada specifies to what standard the manufacturer must comply for operations in controlled airspace, over people, or near people and identifies classifications of injury severity. 


Humanitarian Guidance: This guidance material, located at https://www.icao.int/safety/UAID, relates to many UA operations that provide aid in locations during emergency response as well as on-going humanitarian deliveries. The material includes helpful forms and an application process for expedited review by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).


As other best practice and regulatory material are identified, they will be added to this website.


Because the standard setting process must take into consideration a State's overall UAS regulatory framework, ICAO will not be providing a safety assurance document for setting standards applicable to manufacturers (Part 102.301), cited in the ICAO Model UAS Regulations.


ICAO is exploring opportunities through which direct assistance may become available to support States in implementing UAS regulations, oversight and training.


 ICAO Model UAS Regulations and ACs

Part 101, Part 102 and Part 149


ICAO Model UAS Regulations

Companion Advisory Circulars



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